Heard in Europe

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The European Commission has too many Human Resources specialists, communication advisors and event organisers. At the same time, the refugee crisis and the stubborn economic slowdown show that the Commission needs more muscle to deal with these pressing issues. In order to gain an extra pair of hands in times of (post)-austerity, on 4 April,… » read more

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Thousands of puppies are being trafficked to the United Kingdom by Eastern European criminal gangs exploiting European Union laws on pet passports. West Midlands MEP Daniel Dalton, a British conservative, said gangs were using fake pet passports to get past customs. Unsuspecting families buying the animals face expensive vets’ bills or are forced to hand… » read more

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Like many misinterpretations, it all began with an innocent question. “Will the Greek elections have any impact on the European economy? And having in mind that an independent Catalonia would be automatically out of the EU, and thus the economic consequences, what would be your message for the Catalonian voters?” a EurActiv reporter asked European… » read more

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European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans fired up his favourite football team with a stirring speech that inspired them to an unlikely and thrilling victory. Roda JC came back from two goals down against NAC Breda to triumph in extra time during their two-leg promotion play-off. That condemned Breda to relegation, while handing Roda promotion… » read more

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The Commission has been incredibly slow the past couple of months. Many upcoming reports have been delayed, particularly within DG Sante. For example, the report on alcohol labelling, origin labelling, trans-fatty acids… This is not only due to the transition of the new Commissioners, officials, staff etc. An EU official puts the blame on Frans… » read more

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We’ve all done things we’ve regretted after a Guinness or seven on St Patrick’s Day. Heard in Europe certainly has woken up with a few regrets in the past. That’s why we we are not rushing to judge Commissioners Cañete and Vella for this snap, posted on Twitter. Happy St Patrick’s Day with el San… » read more

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Heard in Europe reported last month that a number of former Commission spokespersons have found themselves at loose ends since the transition to the new Juncker administration. Well, many of them seem to have found something to keep themselves busy – the lobbying business. Tired of twiddling their thumbs since the new executive took office,… » read more

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The College of Commissioners today (25 February) adopted the executive’s 2015 work programme at their meeting in Brussels, signalling the end of the Circular Economy package of waste, incineration and recycling laws. The package will be withdrawn and resubmitted later this year, despite protests from the European Parliament and EU environment ministers. Although long-expected, the… » read more

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Tension is growing inside the EPP group of the European Parliament. Half of the German delegation (17 MEPs) signed a petition in January, supporting an inquiry committee on Luxleaks. This was considered a profound betrayal by other MEPs from the center-right group. “This vote has undermined the authority of the first president of the Commission… » read more

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Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. Or in the case of the Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission, revenge is a dish best served next week in a no-holds-barred interview on BBC television. Anne Glover is expected to spill the beans about what the poor handling of science and policy-making under… » read more

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